[Weekly Review] | March 24, 2015, by Miranda Popkey | Harper's Magazine

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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


The Islamic State kills at least 20 foreign tourists in Tunisia, the first prime minister of Singapore dies, and customs agents in Lebanon seize 30 crates of radioactive maxi pads

HarpersWeb-WeeklyReview-Popkey-bigIn Tunisia, three gunmen in military uniforms stormed Tunis’s National Bardo Museum, killing at least 20 foreign tourists. The Islamic State in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack and for a series of suicide bombings targeting Zaydi Shiite mosques, which reportedly killed more than 130 people, including 12 members of a single family. “When I regained consciousness,” said a survivor, “I found myself lying in a lake of blood.”[1][2][3] In Kabul, a mob beat to death a 27-year-old woman accused of burning a Koran, then set her corpse on fire and threw it into a river while police stood by.[4] A U.S. district court judge overturned a 2009 law enacted by Congress to prohibit the release of photographs documenting military abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.[5] Following national parliamentary elections in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party won 30 of 120 Knesset seats; Likud’s rival, the center-left Zionist Union, won 24. After his victory, Netanyahu walked back his suggestion that no Palestinian state would be created during his tenure and defended a campaign video he’d posted to Facebook warning of “huge quantities” of Arab-Israeli voters, claiming that he’d been referring to the mobilization of specific anti-Israel groups. “That mobilization was based on Arab money,” he said. “Sorry, on foreign money, a lot of foreign money.”[6][7][8][9]

Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore and the leader of its People’s Action Party, which has ruled the city-state since it gained self-governance from Britain in 1959, died at the age of 91. President Barack Obama called Lee a “true giant of history,” U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-Moon called him a “legendary figure,” and British prime minister David Cameron said he was Margaret Thatcher’s favorite prime minister. “We have to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, whether they are religious extremists,” Lee, who was criticized for his intolerance of opposition, harsh punishment of minor infractions, and stringent restrictions on freedom of speech, once said. “As long as you are economically well off, with housing and food,” said an Indian man who lived in Singapore two decades ago and joined mourners gathered outside the building housing Lee’s remains, “who cares?”[10][11][12] In Holmes Beach, Florida, a man was arrested while drinking beer in a vacant home he claimed to co-own with Mariah Carey; a 46-year-old British woman was arrested at Gatwick Airport after she allegedly stripped and masturbated during a flight from Kingston, Jamaica; and in Edinburgh, a man denied charges that he’d indecently exposed himself in December by putting his penis through a friend’s mail slot.[13][14][15] A man attacked security officers at New Orleans’s Louis Armstrong International Airport with wasp spray and a machete.[16] Customs agents in Lebanon seized 30 crates of radioactive maxi pads, and several California residents filed a lawsuit alleging that nearly 30 brands of California wines, including Sutter Home, Franzia, and Charles Shaw, contain levels of arsenic in excess of Environmental Protection Agency drinking-water guidelines. “It is misleading to claim that wines with trace amounts of arsenic are unsafe,” claimed a spokesman for the Wine Group. “After all, people do not consume wine in the same amounts as water.”[17][18][19]

Eighteen Cuban government officials were convicted of stealing more than 8 million eggs and selling them on the black market, and a 64-year-old mother and her 44-year-old son were arrested for running a gang that stole more than $100,000 worth of toothbrushes from Publix, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS stores in Florida.[20][21] A district judge in Arkansas was hospitalized after being attacked by his father’s zebra. [22] In Asheville, North Carolina, investigators found human remains in the wood stove of a man accused of killing a pregnant competitor on the reality television series Food Network Star as well as her husband; in Napa, California, a man’s naked body was discovered kneeling inside a chest freezer in a halfway-home apartment; and a man in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was arrested on hit-and-run charges after the torso of a woman he’d collided with was found on the passenger-seat floor of his Saab.[23][24][25][26] The North Carolina State University chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, a fraternity, was suspended after the discovery, at a restaurant, of a “pledge book” filled with such comments as “If she’s hot enough, she doesn’t need a pulse” and “That tree is so perfect for lynching.”[27][28] A parent of a student in Los Angeles, who claims that his biracial daughter’s eighth-grade history teacher referred to Abraham Lincoln as a “nigger lover,” filed suit against the school district for civil-rights violations. “Black people are judged for not being smart because they are not smart,” the teacher had supposedly told the class. “A lot of them are just athletes.”[29]

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